Now It’s Over: Eagles Fall Short In Overtime, Lose Division and Season To Dallas
It’s as sour a way for a season to go out as one can imagine.
With an opportunity to go on the road and keep playoff hopes alive, the Philadelphia Eagles let the 2018 season slip away. The Super Bowl Championship will not be properly defended in the playoffs. While the Eagles may not be mathematically eliminated, the writing on the wall is clear as day.
This is a lost season, and the Birds won’t be making the playoffs. They may not even finish with a .500 record. It’s not just about today’s loss, its about the body of work that this team has put together as a whole.
The injuries, the mistakes, the self-inflicted wounds, everything that’s gone wrong since the start of September culminated in tonight’s effort.
The hallmarks of this team were all on full display. Another slow start. Questionable playcalling throughout the game. Injuries taking their toll along the way.
Absurd Officials Cost Eagles Early
I think this would have been a very different game had the officials made the proper call on the opening kickoff.
It was clearly a fumble, recovered by the Eagles’ special teams deep in Dallas territory. The refs not only missed the initial fumble, but once they took a look at the review, somehow made the determination that there was no recovery by the Eagles despite the fact that there were at least three Eagles on top of the ball with no Cowboys anywhere close.
My jaw dropped upon hearing the explanation after the review. I’m not normally one to be bothered by bad calls; its just part of the game, but in what world was that not a fumble recovered by the Eagles?
Imagine how much this game might have swung in the Eagles’ favor if the right call had been made? The Birds start with a short field, steal a possession from Dallas, and at minimum put three points, possibly seven on the board. We’re talking about a completely different game if that’s the case.
Instead, the Cowboys dodged a bullet, and the Eagles’ offense went through their patented slow start, and the rest is history.
- Carson Wentz was bad early in this game. I mean, really bad. Constantly missing open receivers down the field, overshooting his deep ball. Holding on to the ball too long. Not feeling the rush around him. Not taking care of the football. I know Wentz isn’t all the way back from his injury, but he’s gotten himself into some really bad habits this year, hopefully he can be coached out of them over the coming offseason.
- The fumble Wentz had before halftime not only cost the team a valuable opportunity for points, but set the stage for Dallas to drill a 62-yard field goal before the half.
- Wentz was better later in the game, and to his credit, led the team on two late touchdown drives to tie the game. He finished with a rating above 100 again, and threw three scores.
- Josh Adams broke a 24-yard run on the opening drive, and the running game wasn’t heard from again. The Eagles ran only 14 times on the day.
- Two of those were designed runs for Wentz, who has looked a step slow all year. Terrible play selection by Doug in those spots.
- Alshon Jeffery led the team with six grabs for 50 yards and his first touchdown since Week 7.
- Nelson Agholor caught just two passes, but made his effort count with a big 42-yard catch late in the game.
- Golden Tate was a complete non-factor, very disappointing after his effort Monday night. Once again, you just have to question what the point of the Tate trade was with the amount of disruption its caused the roles of guys like Agholor and Jordan Matthews, who now barely plays.
- Dallas Goedert came through with his best showing yet, catching four for 44 and a touchdown. Goedert also had a 75-yard score wiped away late in the game by a ridiculous penalty.
- Seeing Darren Sproles fight for that late touchdown shows you the element that he brings that’s been missing from this offense all year long. Shame to see his career wind down on a team that won’t be in the playoffs.
- You really have to give the defense credit today. They fought and battled all day long to keep this team in the game. They bent, but didn’t break for as long as they could. By the end of overtime, they had just run out of gas, smoke and mirrors, plain and simple.
- Heartbreaking end to the game for Rasul Douglas, giving up the game winning score to Amari Cooper on a deflected ball. Rasul played an otherwise strong game, and looked like the surest tackler on the defense, making several open-field stops.
- Nigel Bradham, Malcolm Jenkins, Corey Graham, and Kamu Grugier-Hill all had double-digit tackles.
- Michael Bennett and Fletcher Cox each registered 1.5 sacks.
- Is Sidney Jones ever going to make a play? All that the second round pick has done with his starting opportunity is get burnt in coverage, Jones was toasted by the speedy Dallas receivers all day.
- Yes, I’m aware Sidney Jones was playing hurt. My counter to that is when is Sidney Jones ever healthy?
- Jake Elliot’s missed extra point was just one more what-if that the Eagles are forced to ponder.
I wasn’t ready for this season to end.
Coming off of the Super Bowl, I at least wanted the Eagles to have a chance to defend their title in the playoffs themselves. I certainly didn’t want the season to end on the 9th of December, leaving us with a long, cold winter ahead of us without any meaningful football.
However, it can’t be helped. This team just wasn’t good enough. It’s time to start thinking about 2019.